Monday, January 30, 2012

Beauty from Ashes – Good News for the Oppressed

I have been thinking about this scripture a lot lately.  The first part is actually talking about Jesus, and is a prophecy about him that he then quotes in Luke 4:18. I have read this scripture many, many times, but in light of the last week or so, I see it differently.  The beginning is talking about Jesus, but isn’t our life purpose to be sanctified to be more like Him?

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, 
      for the LORD has anointed me 
      to bring good news to the poor. 
   He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted 
      and to proclaim that captives will be released 
      and prisoners will be freed.[a] 
 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn 
      that the time of the LORD’s favor has come,[b] 
      and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 

Is it not MY responsibility to bring Good News to the poor, to comfort the brokenhearted, to proclaim FREEDOM to those held captive?  How can I best do that in the context of my life?

 3 To all who mourn in Israel,[c] 
      he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, 
   a joyous blessing instead of mourning, 
      festive praise instead of despair. 
   In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks 
      that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

There are many lessons that have come out of the MH experience.  The Lord, in Isaiah, offers us beauty for ashes.  So here is my list of beautiful things that have come from the ashes of our MH experience:

  • I have become a Berean alongside my husband (he’s always been one) Acts 17:11
  • I have fallen in love with and learned to trust and run to the Word of God and want to live the Spirit-led life. I am grateful for and eager for the Holy Spirit’s direction, comfort, ministry and presence in my life. It is something I now know I believe in with such conviction that nobody will ever be able to convince me of anything else.
  • I trust the gift of discernment God has given me.
  • The realization and true conviction that I want to train my kids in godliness through my example and I want them to see me live out my faith in the context of everyday life, with everyday people. I do not want them to be in a church where they are taught elitism, but rather want them in a church where they are taught about the mercy, grace and love of God and how those gifts of God spurn us into holy obedience not out of fear, but out of love and gratefulness for the gifts He has given us.
  • I feel convicted to seek justice for the oppressed and spiritually abused.  I cannot stand by silently any more.  I have read many other stories, and joined the “Fellowship of the Wounded”.
  • I am less judgmental and able to have compassion for those who are suffering.  I have learned that the ground is TRULY level at the foot of the cross.
  • My husband and I are united in a way we never have been before.
  • I have (finally!) put my priorities in the right order.  My relationship with God (not the church), my husband, my kids, my extended family and friends, and then church.
  • I no longer hold pastors who are in the spotlight in high esteem only because they are in the spotlight.
  • I will never, out of desperation, accept instant friendships as being real.  True friendship develops over time.

What about you?  What beauty have you found in the ashes of your experience?


  1. I have been impressed with your comments at TWW, and with your insight and courage. Hold the course. You will draw others over time. I will check in from time to time but must limit myself in order to complete my responsibilities to the poor and abused.

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  3. This has all been very encouraging for me these last few days. Things have become clearer for my husband, but more tension for me. I have monuments in my life that are shining like the sun to remind me of how very real Jesus is in my life, but at the same time, questioning and evaluating things (processing, processing - which wasn't looked on very highly at the church I had been going to)from all my past experiences of church. All this to say, I was wondering if you could post something about what is a Berean? I also pray for continued protection and discernment for this blog and that it may be a healing place. Joshua1:8&9!!